Southchurch Plaza - 6th March 1929, Southchurch gains it's very own cinema the Plaza.
Brewery Brews no More - Not many people are aware of the huge brewery that existed just off the High Street. The footprint today is taken by the South East Essex College and University of Essex buildings. The Lukers Brewery ceased trading between 1929-30. Here on a map of the town centre dated 1895, it can be clearly seen:
Prince Opens Pier Extension - 8 July 1929, The Prince George Extension was officially opened by HRH Prince George, Duke of Kent, bringing the Pier up to its present record length. He also named a new lifeboat the 'Greater London'.
The Avenue Closes - Starting as Princes Hall in 1908, then the Princes Picturedome, this cinema on Tyler's Avenue just behind 'The London Pub' was to close in 1929. It became known as 'The Avenue' in 1921, and by 1925 renamed 'The Lyric'.
Lady MP - For the first time since 1895 the Genral Election this year was held in the summer. Saving the populace from battling the elements to cast their vote. The results returned Lady Iveagh, but with a much reduced majority.
30th May 1929
Southend Majority 5,721
Southend Majority 5,721
Clubhouse Built - Southend Cricket club further established themselves in Southchurch Park by building a longstanding clubhouse.
The Hamlet Court is Demolished - The Hamlet Court on Hamlet Court Road is demolished, this landmark house was the home to Robert Buchanan, it existed north of Canewdon Road, its land stretching up to Ditton Court Road. It is rumoured the gardens of this property contained a brick maze, made out of all the varieties of brick made in the local area. Some small parts of this maze are visible still in some of the back gardens of the current houses that face onto Ditton Court Road. There are not many images of the Hamlet Court available, but it certainly did provide the name to the current Hamlet Court Road, a well known shopping street. Today not only does the road name pay homage to this big house but there is a pub adopting its name too.
Corona Opens - Cinema's were king at this time and another venture opened in Leigh on 25th October 1929 in Leigh Road. It was classed as a community cinema and could sit 1,530 in it's blue and gold auditorium. It was home for many years to it's own orchestra, and in 1954 as per the Coliseum was absorbed into the Essoldo Group. The cinema finally closed on 4th April 1959, and the building would now be known as Riley's with it's upstairs bowling alleys.
Hospital Foundation Stone Laid - A new hospital worthy of this growing town became closer on November 12, 1929 when the Queen Mother, then Duchess of York, laid the foundation stone of Southend Hospital. Sylvia Kirby, was a patrol leader in the 3rd Westcliff (St Andrews) Guides when she was picked to join an extra special guard of honour.
She said: "I remember very clearly having to wait what seemed like hours until finally the car drew up and this lady descended.
"I remember being struck by how tiny she seemed - I was a tall girl. But as she passed me she had the most amazing blue eyes and lovely smile.
"She was quite striking but it was her blue eyes which hit me most."
16th September English Channel Swimmer: Norman Leslie Derham becomes the first Southender to swim the English Channel in a time of 13 hours 56 minutes, 35 minutes. The feat was in challenge of Lord George Riddell owner of the News of the World who had offered £1,000 to any English person that would swim the channel beating a time set by an American swimmer. Mr Derham was paraded around the football pitch at the Southend United Vs Aberdare Athletic game on the 18th September where all the fans, players and officials stood and applauded he’s successful swim.
Former PM in Town - Stanley Baldwin just ousted by Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald was guest of honour at the Southend Conservative Association.
Telephone Exchange Opens - An automatic exchange opened this year in London Road to cope with the increasing demand for telephones across the town.
Wall of Death Introduced - The Kursaal Amusement Park took a bold step in June 1929 when the Wall of Death was introduced. This amazing attraction would capture the imaginations of millions of visitors for the next 50 years.